” Which Fast-Food Option Does Your Child Choose” Healthy or Unhealthy?


#AceFoodNews says Meals for moderately active preschoolers—children between the ages of two and five—should contain about 410 calories, according to USDA recommendations.

And yet, when we looked at kids’ meals at 10 different fast-food chains—from McDonald’s to Chipotle to Boston Market, and seven more—we found that the meals usually contained far more calories than the recommendation.

“Thomas Jefferson the President and the Cook”


English: Cropped version of Thomas Jefferson, ...

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), principal author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United states, acquired a taste for continental cooking while serving as American minister to France in the 1780’s. When he returned to the United States in 1790 he brought with him a French cook and many recipes for French, Italian, and other au courant cookery. Jefferson not only served his guests the best European wines, but he liked to dazzle them with delights such as ice cream, peach flambe, macaroni, and macaroons. This drawing of a macaroni machine, with the sectional view showing holes from which dough could be extruded, reflects Jefferson’s curious mind and his interest and aptitude in mechanical matters.

JEFFERSON’S NOTES ON MACARONI AND THE MACARONI MACHINE

In February 1789, William Short wrote to Jefferson that he had procured a “mould for making macaroni” at Jefferson’s request in Naples, and had it forwarded on to his mentor in Paris. The macaroni mold probably did not reach Paris until after Jefferson had departed. His belongings were shipped to Philadelphia in 1790, and the machine was probably included with those items. We know that Jefferson did have the machine in the United States eventually, as it is listed in a packing list with other household items shipped from Philadelphia to Monticello in 1793.

Jefferson's drawing of a macaroni machine and notes. Library of CongressJefferson’s drawing of a macaroni machine and notes. Library of Congress

Jefferson’s notes on the macaroni machine read as follows:

“The best maccaroni in Italy is made with a particular sort of flour called Semola, in Naples: but in almost every shop a different sort of flour is commonly used; for, provided the flour be of a good quality, & not ground extremely fine, it will always do very well. a paste is made with flour, water & less yeast than is used for making bread. this paste is then put, by little at a time, vir. about 5. or 6. tb each time into a round iron box ABC. the under part of which is perforated with holes, through which the paste, when pressed by the screw DEF, comes out, and forms the Maccaroni g.g.g. which, when sufficiently long, are cut & spread to dry. the screw is turned by a lever inserted into the hole K, of which there are 4. or 6. it is evident that on turning the screw one way, the cylindrical part F. which fits the iron box or mortar perfectly well, must press upon the paste and must force it out of the holes. LIM is a strong wooden frame, properly fastened to the wall, floor, and ceiling of the room.”

“N.O. is a figure on a larger scale of some of the holes in the iron plate, where all the black is solid, and the rest open. the real plate has a great many holes, and is screwed to the box or mortar : or rather there is a set of plates which may be changed at will, with holes of different shapes & sizes for the different sorts of Maccaroni.”

English: Drawing of a macaroni machine, with a...

English: Drawing of a macaroni machine, with a sectional view showing holes through which dough could be extruded, by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson became interested in pasta and other exotic foods as a result of his travels overseas. The Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MACARONI RECIPE

Jefferson was most likely not the first to introduce macaroni (with or without cheese) to America, nor did he invent the recipe. The most that could be said is that he probably helped to popularize it by serving it to dinner guests during his presidency. There is, however, a recipe for macaroni in Jefferson’s own hand:

6 eggs. yolks & whites.
2 wine glasses of milk
2 lb of flour
a little salt
work them together without water, and very well.
roll it then with a roller to a paper thickness
cut it into small pieces which roll again with the hand into long slips, & then cut them to a proper length.
put them into warm water a quarter of an hour.
drain them.
dress them as maccaroni.
but if they are intended for soups they are to be put in the soup & not into warm water.

PRIMARY SOURCE REFERENCES

1802. “Dined at the President’s – …Dinner not as elegant as when we dined before. [Among other dishes] a pie called macaroni, which appeared to be a rich crust filled with the stallions of onions, or shallots, which I took it to be, tasted very strong, and not agreeable. Mr. Lewistold me there were none in it; it was an Italian dish, and what appeared like onions was made of flour and butter, with a particularly strong liquor mixed with them.” 

1809 November 29. “Pd. John B. Sartori of Trenton 8. D. for 2. boxes Macaroni of 25. lbs. each.

1809 December 30. (Jefferson to Gordon, Trokes & Co.). “I have mentioned the article of Maccaroni, not knowing if they are to be had in Richmond. I have formerly been supplied from Sartori’s works at Trenton, who makes them well, and would be glad to supply you should the Richmond demand make it worth your while to keep them. I paid him 16 cents the pound.” [Letter goes on to order 20 lbs. of macaroni, among other items.]

1810 January 17. (Gordon, Trokes & Co. to Jefferson). “…the only Maccaroni in town is held by Mr LeForest which he says came directly from Italy, he asks 4/6 [per] lb which so much exceeds the price mentioned by you that we supposed it would be best to acquaint you of it before purchasing…”

1816 June 8. “Wrote to P. Gibson to remit John Steele Collector of Phila. 16.80 duties & portcharges on 50. bottles of Hermitage & a box of Maccaroni sent there by Stephen Cathalan of Marseilles.”

FOOTNOTES

  1.  PTJ, 14:540. See also continuing correspondence relating to the shipment of the macaroni machine in Volume 15.
  2.  Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress.
  3.  Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress. Adaptations of this recipe can be found in Marie Kimball, Thomas Jefferson’s Cook Book (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1976), 81, and Fowler, Damon Lee, ed., Dining at Monticello: In Good Taste and Abundance] (Charlottesville: Thomas Jefferson Foundation, 2005), 102.
  4.  William Parker Cutler and Julia Perkins Cutler, Life Journals and Correspondence of Rev. Manasseh Cutler (Cincinnati, 1888), 2:71-72.
  5.  MB, 2:1235.
  6.  PTJ:RS, 2:109.
  7.  Ibid., 2:154.
  8.  MB, 2: 1324.

SEE ALSO

FURTHER SOURCES

http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/macaroni

Just a Glass of Llamas Milk a Day Could Keep the Doctor Away


#AceFoodNews says as more and more of our milk products become over priced more and more people are turning to alternatives, such as milk from Llama’s, or Yaks’s to name but two, and as the UN reported just recently these “Milk and Dairy Products” from underutilized animals such as llama, donkey or yak should be more widely used to counteract high cow milk prices, the United Nations food agency stated <“http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/203977/icode/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social+media&utm_campaign=fao+facebook“>said urging Governments to invest in programmes that help poor families keep small dairy livestock.

Llamas MilkBut look further into the beneficial nutrients against Cows Milk and even more amazing facts appear:

The llama, an animal classified in the camelid family with camels and alpacas, lives in the Andean Mountain region of South America. As a domesticated animal, llamas can work like a horse or mule pulling a cart or carrying packs, while leaving a smaller environmental footprint, meaning they do less damage to the fields or trails. Llamas can guard sheep, produce high quality wool and graze in pastures, making them useful and easy to maintain as a livestock animal. Because they are mammals, female llamas produce milk to feed their young. Their milk contains lactose. 

WHAT IS LACTOSE?

Sugar molecules consist of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms hooked together to form a ring. Sugar exists in a variety of chemical forms including sucrose or table sugar; fructose, which is found in fruit; and lactose, the sugar in milk. Lactose consists of two smaller sugar molecules known as glucose and galactose bound together. Lactose does not taste as sweet as table sugar, but does give milk and other dairy products their slightly sweet flavor. Milk produced by all mammals, including llamas, contains lactose.

Llamas Milk NutritionLLAMA MILK COMPOSITION: 

Like all mammals, llamas produce milk to feed their babies, known as crias. Llama milk contains more protein than cow’s milk and goat’s milk, with 4.23 percent protein compared to 3.3 percent in cow’s milk and 2.9 percent in goat’s milk, according to the Alpaca Breeders of Southern California. Llama milk also contains more calcium with 1,701 ppm as compared to 1,080 ppm in cow’s milk and 1,400 in goat’s milk. In addition llama milk contains higher amounts of phosphorus and potassium. Despite the nutritional advantages llama milk offers, it likely will not replace cow’s milk or goat’s milk as a major source of milk due to the small population of llamas and their low milk production.

LLAMA MILK LACTOSE:

Only 80,000 to 100,000 llamas live in the United States, a small population when compared to other livestock used for milk production, according to the Llama Lifestyle Marketing Association. In addition, each female llama only produces about 60 mL of milk at a time, which means their young must suckle often to get adequate nutrition. Although you can drink llama milk, many people looking for a substitute for cow’s milk need a milk product that does not contain lactose due to lactose intolerance. Llama’s milk contains a higher lactose content than cow’s milk with 5.93 percent lactose compared to 4.7 percent.

LACTOSE INTOLERANCE:

When you consume milk and dairy products your body must break down the lactose to absorb the sugar and convert it to usable energy. The enzyme called lactase, produced by the cells lining the small intestine, breaks the bond between the glucose and galactose molecules. The small intestine can then absorb the smaller sugar molecules. Babies produce large amounts of lactase to digest the lactose in their milk. As you age, your body slows down the production of lactase. Without enough lactase, you cannot absorb the lactose and it stays in the digestive tract. The large intestine tries to break down the lactose through a process of fermentation carried out by bacteria. This causes the symptoms associated with lactose intolerance, which include chronic diarrhea, gas, bloating and stomach pains.

REFERENCES

 

“There is huge scope for developing other dairy species,” said UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) livestock industry officer, Anthony Bennett, highlighting the nutritional and economic resources of these animals.

In <“http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3396e/i3396e.pdf“>Milk and Dairy Products in Human Nutrition, a book co-authored by Mr. Bennett, the FAO reported that non-traditional sources of dairy, alongside other species that are already used for milk like buffalo, goat and sheep, can improve nutrition among the most vulnerable groups.

Although the term ‘milk’ has become almost synonymous with cow milk, milk from many other species is consumed in different parts of the world. The book covers the milk composition of other major dairy species such as buffalo, goat and sheep, and species that are currently underutilized in dairy production such as alpaca, camel and mithun.

In addition to being very high in fat and protein, dairy products from animals such as reindeer or moose may be suitable for the two to six per cent of the population allergic to cow milk.

Dairy consumption in developing countries is expected to grow by 25 percent by 2025 as a result of population growth and rising incomes, according to figures cited in the publication, but will likely still be too expensive for most households that subsist on starch or cereal-based diets.

“Governments need to address the issue by making nutrition a specific objective in dairy sector development and by investing in programmes that help poor families keep small dairy livestock,” the UN agency said.

Currently about 150 million households – some 750 million people – are engaged in milk production around the world, the majority of whom are in developing countries.

“A major challenge is for Governments to develop inclusive policies and encourage investment from the private sector that helps these small-scale farmers take advantage of the escalating demand for milk and dairy in developing countries to improve their livelihoods,” Mr. Bennett said.

The book also calls for new collaborative initiatives to address the environmental effects of the dairy sector, which accounts for some four per cent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions in addition to increasing pressure on land and water resources.

“Producing, processing and distributing milk and dairy products, like other foods, does affect the planet, and ongoing efforts are required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated by the sector,” said Mr. Bennett.

New York, Nov 26 2013  3:00PM

US Manufacturers Hires A Lobbying Group to Violate State Campaign Finance Law


GMA Network, Inc.

GMA Network, Inc. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the RT a lobbying group for major US manufacturers has  violated Washington state campaign finance law while opposing a ballot initiative that would require labelling genetically modified foods, according to a lawsuit filed by the state attorney general Wednesday.

The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) ran afoul of state law in collecting and spending $7.2 million against ballot initiative 522 – which voters will consider in November – while not disclosing the individual donors funneling contributions to the organization, alleged State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

“Truly fair elections demand all sides follow the rules by disclosing who their donors are and how much they are spending to advocate their views,” Ferguson said in a statement.

The measure would require the proper labelling of goods which contain ingredients with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as well as the labelling of seeds and seed products containing GMOs sold in the state.

With over $7 million spent, GMA is the largest donor to the “No on I-522” campaign. GMA and other opponents have raised over $17 million, spending $13 million thus far, in the effort to block labeling.

GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM

GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM (Photo credit: live w mcs)

The Yes on I-522” campaign has raised around $5.5 million in support of the labeling. They believe it is crucial for the public’s right to know what is in their food and say the labeling is a positive move considering the numerous questions surrounding the safety of GMOs to human health.

Ferguson’s office alleges GMA set up a “Defense of Brands Strategic Account” and asked its numerous high-powered members to contribute money in an effort to oppose the ballot initiative.

In the process of spending the money, GMA shielded contributors’ identification from public disclosures, the lawsuit alleges.

GMA has a total of 300 member organizations in its ranks and rising!

The attorney general is seeking a temporary restraining order to force GMA to comply with disclosure laws. In addition, civil penalties are included in the suit.

Read More at:http://rt.com/usa/washington-lawsuit-gmo-label-288/

 

Changes To Affordable Health Care – On The Cards- Private Healthcare Companies – Benefit for Some – Not All


The logo of CIGNA HealthCare, the health insur...

The logo of CIGNA HealthCare, the health insurance company operating under CIGNA Corporation. CIGNA HealthCare delivers employee benefit plans across the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Affordable Care Act is the end of the beginning of reform, this started on October 1, 2013, that law will signify the beginning of the end of the health insurance industry as we know it.

According to Wendell Potter a former CEO at Cigna he said at a leadership retreat that what kept him up at night was the fear that big health insurance corporations might someday be viewed as unnecessary middlemen, that their “value proposition” would come under scrutiny and found to be wanting. That insurance companies would, to use his term, be dis-intermediated.

Well finally after years of receiving healthcare that so many Americans could not afford, finally arrives!  It begins with most of the attention being focused on the glitches that will inevitably occur when the switch is flipped and the long-awaited health insurance marketplaces (also called exchanges) finally go live.

Read More – http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/09/30/13474/beginning-end-major-health-insurers

What does this really mean to the consumer of such services and how will it affect the health care market as many companies vie for their share of a the huge financial rewards, as finally they find their way to the end of that rainbow, and reap the rewards from that elusive pot of gold!

This now expanding market will start to grow with many other companies joining the fray, looking for their share of a decreasing pot, so it will become a dog eat dog world the bigger fish devouring the littler fish ,until one we will have two or three massive conglomerates ,just like the bankers of wall street!

My own feelings are that what started off with a really good idea of providing health-care for all those that had never had it before, unless they could afford private healthcare,  the true cost will be bourne out by the people who pay their taxes! Even though this is a little like the ” UK National Insurance Contribution” that many citizens argued about for years, but now wish that successive governments had not squandered their money ,in the name of “Private Healthcare” – so l feel this is really role reversal time!

So what of the future for this new  system, nicknamed Obama Care, well maybe one day it could be a real legacy, that the Americans can look back at, and say well it really was worth it in the end!

I really hope so and pray that it does not get abuse by the money-making corporations, so much so that every service becomes a contract of making profit and not giving care ,as care should be applied, not just spoken!

Ask yourself this question – is not health a nation more important that wealth of a nation? As a healthy nation of happy and content people, will provide a better social environment and eventually God willing ,a wealthy and prosperous nation working together as one.     

Rise and Rise of Monsanto


Cigarettes can kill and so could our food!

Cigarettes can kill and so could our food!

Having been busy for the last few months training new people that may one day become chefs, hopefully! I thought l would change tac with a post on this company, so relevant in the news for many reasons!

The company Monsanto was founded in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1901, by John Francis Queeny, a 30‑year veteran of the pharmaceutical industry. He funded the start-up with his own money and capital from a soft drink distributor and gave the company his wife’s maiden name. His father-in-law was Emmanuel Mendes de Monsanto, a wealthy financier of a sugar company active in Vieques, Puerto Rico, and based in St. Thomas in the Danish West Indies. The company’s first product was the artificial sweetener saccharin, which was sold to the Coca-Cola Company.

Monsanto expanded to Europe in 1919 by entering a partnership with Graesser’s Chemical Works at Cefn Mawr, near Ruabon Wales, to produce vanillinaspirin and its raw ingredient salicylic acid, and later rubber processing chemicals. This site was later sold and closed in 2010. In the 1920s Monsanto expanded into basic industrial chemicals like sulfuric acid and PCBs, and Queeny’s sonEdgar Monsanto Queeny took over the company in 1928.

In 1926 the company founded and incorporated a town called Monsanto in Illinois (now known as Sauget). It was formed to provide a liberal regulatory environment and low taxes for the Monsanto chemical plants at a time when local jurisdictions had most of the responsibility for environmental rules. It was renamed in honour of Leo Sauget, its first village president.

In 1936 Monsanto acquired Thomas & Hochwalt Laboratories in Dayton, Ohio in order to acquire the expertise of Charles Allen Thomas and Dr. Carroll A. (“Ted”) Hochwalt and made it into Monsanto’s Central Research Department.[18]:340-341 Thomas spent the rest of his career at Monsanto until his retirement in 1970, during which time he served as President (1951–60) and Chairman of the Board (1960–65). In 1943, Thomas was called to a meeting in Washington DC with Brig. Gen. Leslie Groves, commander of the Manhattan Project, and with James Conant, president of Harvard University and chairman of the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC).[20] They urged Thomas to become co-director of the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos with Robert Oppenheimer, but Thomas was reluctant to leave Dayton and Monsanto. Thomas joined the NDRC, and Monsanto’s Central Research Department began to conduct research for the Manhattan Project under contract from the US government To that end, Monsanto operated the Dayton Project, and later Mound Laboratories, and assisted in the development of the first nuclear weapons

In 1946, it developed “All” laundry detergent and began to market it; they sold the product line to Lever Brothers in 1957.[22] In 1947, one of its factories was destroyed in the Texas City Disaster.[23]Monsanto acquired American Viscose from England’s Courtauld family in 1949. In 1954 Monsanto partnered with German chemical giant Bayer to form Mobay and market polyurethanes in the United States.

Monsanto began manufacturing DDT in 1944, along with some 15 other companies. This insecticide was much welcomed in the fight against malaria-transmitting mosquitoes. Due to DDT’s toxicity, its use in the United States was banned in 1972. In 1977 Monsanto stopped producing PCBs; the United States Congress banned domestic PCB production two years later. In the 1960s and 1970s, Monsanto was also one of the most important producers of Agent Orange for United States Armed Forces operations in Vietnam.

In the mid‑1960s, William Standish Knowles and his team invented a way to selectively synthesize enantiomers via asymmetric hydrogenation. This was an important advancement because it was the first method for the catalytic production of pure chiral compounds. Using this method, Knowles’ team designed the “first industrial process to chirally synthesize an important compound” —L‑dopa, which is currently the main drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease. In 2001 Knowles and Ryōji Noyori won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In the mid-1960s chemists at Monsanto developed the Monsanto process for making acetic acid, which until 2000 was the method most widely used to make this important industrial chemical. In 1965 Monsanto chemists inventedAstroTurf, which the company then commercialized.

Monsanto scientists became the first to genetically modify a plant cell in 1982. Five years later, Monsanto conducted the first field tests of genetically engineered crops.

In 1985, Monsanto acquired G. D. Searle & Company, a life sciences company focusing on pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and animal health. In 1993, Monsanto’s Searle division filed a patent application for Celebrex, which in 1998 became the first selective COX‑2 inhibitor to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Celebrex became a blockbuster drug and was often mentioned as a key reason for Pfizer‘s acquisition of Monsanto’s pharmaceutical business in 2002.

My conclusions: 

These are of course extracts from places like Wikipedia and others, but they lead me to one really important conclusion, looking at the type of company that drifts into pharmaceuticals and back into food using the old adage ,that to feed this burgeoning population we need to use scientific technology, really does not wash with a 30 year plus chef! I have had to cater for 300 or 3000 the numbers are just the same it is just portioning food, well as a country eating far too much, that is not good for us and with green belt land in the UK at least, still widely available ,l suggest going back to an agricultural based farming system! I have no problems with subsidising farmers, that will use organic methods widely, neither do l have a problem with growing certain foods, rather than convince us via so many celebrity chefs, about the benefits of fruits and veg from abroad! Of course supermarkets have climbed on the gravy train of popular foods, importing them rather than use local produce, also increasing the carbon footprint!

The real problem l have is, if we let so-called corporations like this huge growing conglomerate to take over mass production of food from seed, to table, one day very soon we will be picking up pieces of an increasing number of people with diseases never heard of, and no hope of a cure, as we do not know the cause!

I was told many a year ago “We are what we eat” and l have found that you can with time wean people off medication, potions and powders as long as they get a simple healthy diet of good nutritious food!

So say #No2GMO and support people who want food from the dirt under their fingers, and sweat of their brow! As we come from the ground and one day we will return to the ground, and we do not want to find that our bodies will not feed the worms, but poison them as well!

Thanks for taking time to read l will add a poll to this asking for people to vote for, against and not sure about GMO and this company called simple MONSANTO!

Regards, Chef CJ   

E-Numbers and Additives and How We Regulate Their Use


Codex alimentarius. E-codes for food additives...

As a chef and a qualified assessor l have to be aware of many things including Health and Safety plans for Food Safety and what l prepare in meals for my clients,customers and residents. This includes the use of additives, colours and E-numbers, some of which cannot harm you, but many that have dramatic side-affects! In this post l would like to give you an overview of  my job in these areas. Also providing extracts and details of what these additions to our everyday food, really do! I intend to cover other areas of trans-fats and uses of oils at a later date!

Anyway Food Additives the good and bad of how we needed to regulate! This was with the advent of processed foods in the second half of the 20th century, many more additives have been introduced, of both natural and artificial origin.

To regulate these additives, and inform consumers, each additive is assigned a unique number, termed as “E numbers”, which is used in Europe for all approved additives. This numbering scheme has now been adopted and extended by the Codex Alimentarius (Latin for “Book of Food”) and is a collection of internationally recognized standards, codes of practice, guidelines and other recommendations relating to foods, food production and food safety.

Commissioned to internationally identify all additives, regardless of whether they are approved for use

E numbers are all prefixed by “E”, but countries outside Europe use only the number, whether the additive is approved in Europe or not. For example, acetic acid is written as E260 on products sold in Europe, but is simply known as additive 260 in some countries. Additive 103, alkanet, is not approved for use in Europe so does not have an E number, although it is approved for use in Australia and New Zealand. Since 1987, Australia has had an approved system of labelling for additives in packaged foods. Each food additive has to be named or numbered. The numbers are the same as in Europe, but without the prefix ‘E’.

Categories:

Food additives can be divided into several groups, although some overlap between them.

Acids
Food acids are added to make flavours “sharper”, and act as preservatives and antioxidants. Common food acids include vinegar, citric acid, tartaric acid, malic acid, fumaric acid, and lactic acid.
Acidity regulators
Acidity regulators are used to change or otherwise control the acidity and alkalinity of foods.
Anti-caking agents
Anticaking agents keep powders such as milk powder from caking or sticking.
Anti-foaming agents
Antifoaming agents reduce or prevent foaming in foods.
Antioxidants
Antioxidants such as vitamin C act as preservatives by inhibiting the effects of oxygen on food, and can be beneficial to health.
Bulking agents
Bulking agents such as starch are additives that increase the bulk of food without affecting its taste.
Food colouring
Colorings are added to food to replace colours lost during preparation, or to make food look more attractive.
Colour retention agents
In contrast to colourings, colour retention agents are used to preserve a food’s existing colour.
Emulsifiers
Emulsifiers allow water and oils to remain mixed together in an emulsion, as in mayonnaise, ice cream, and homogenized milk.
Flavours
Flavours are additives that give food a particular taste or smell, and may be derived from natural ingredients or created artificially.
Flavour enhancers
Flavor enhancers enhance a food’s existing flavours. They may be extracted from natural sources (through distillation, solvent extraction, maceration, among other methods) or created artificially.
Flour treatment agents
Flour treatment agents are added to flour to improve its colour or its use in baking.
Glazing agents
Glazing agents provide a shiny appearance or protective coating to foods.
Humectants
Humectants prevent foods from drying out.
Tracer gas
Tracer gas allow for package integrity testing to prevent foods from being exposed to atmosphere, thus guaranteeing shelf life.
Preservatives
Preservatives prevent or inhibit spoilage of food due to fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms.
Stabilizers
Stabilizers, thickeners and gelling agents, like agar or pectin (used in jam ) give foods a firmer texture. While they are not true emulsifiers, they help to stabilize emulsions.
Sweeteners
Sweeteners are added to foods for flavouring. Sweeteners other than sugar are added to keep the food energy (calories) low, or because they have beneficial effects for diabetes mellitus and tooth decay and diarrhea.
Thickeners
Thickeners are substances which, when added to the mixture, increase its viscosity without substantially modifying its other properties.
caffeine and other GRAS (generally recognized as safe) additives such as sugar and salt are not required to go through the regulation process.

Safety:

With the increasing use of processed foods since the 19th century, there has been a great increase in the use of food additives of varying levels of safety. This has led to legislation in many countries regulating their use. For example, boric acid was widely used as a food preservative from the 1870s to the 1920s, but was banned after World War I due to its toxicity, as demonstrated in animal and human studies. During World War II, the urgent need for cheap, available food preservatives led to it being used again, but it was finally banned in the 1950s.Such cases led to a general mistrust of food additives, and an application of the precautionary principle led to the conclusion that only additives that are known to be safe should be used in foods. In the USA, this led to the adoption of the Delaney clause, an amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938, stating that no carcinogenic substances may be used as food additives. However, after the banning of cyclamates in the USA and Britain in 1969, saccharin, the only remaining legal artificial sweetener at the time, was found to cause cancer in rats. Widespread public outcry in the USA, partly communicated to Congress by postage-paid postcards supplied in the packaging of sweetened soft drinks, led to the retention of saccharin despite its violation of the Delaney clause.

In September 2007, research financed by Britain’s Food Standards Agency and published online by the British medical journal The Lancet, presented evidence that a mix of additives commonly found in children’s foods increases the mean level of hyperactivity. The team of researchers concluded that “the finding lends strong support for the case that food additives exacerbate hyperactive behaviours (inattention, impulsivity and over-activity) at least into middle childhood.” That study examined the effect of artificial colours and a sodium benzoate preservative, and found both to be problematic for some children. Further studies are needed to find out whether there are other additives that could have a similar effect, and it is unclear whether some disturbances can also occur in mood and concentration in some adults. In the February 2008 issue of its publication,AAP Grand Rounds, the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded that a low-additive diet is a valid intervention for children with ADHD:

“Although quite complicated, this was a carefully conducted study in which the investigators went to great lengths to eliminate bias and to rigorously measure outcomes. The results are hard to follow and somewhat inconsistent. For many of the assessments there were small but statistically significant differences of measured behaviours in children who consumed the food additives compared with those who did not. In each case increased hyperactive behaviours were associated with consuming the additives. For those comparisons in which no statistically significant differences were found, there was a trend for more hyperactive behaviours associated with the food additive drink in virtually every assessment. Thus, the overall findings of the study are clear and require that even we skeptic’s, who have long doubted parental claims of the effects of various foods on the behaviour of their children, admit we might have been wrong”

In 2007,Food Standards Australia New Zealand published an official shoppers’ guidance with which the concerns of food additives and their labeling are mediated.

There has been significant controversy associated with the risks and benefits of food additives. Some artificial food additives have been linked with cancer, digestive problems, neurological conditions, ADHD, heart disease or obesity. Natural additives may be similarly harmful or be the cause of allergic reactions in certain individuals. For example,safrole was used to flavour root beer until it was shown to be carcinogenic. Due to the application of the Delaney clause, it may not be added to foods, even though it occurs naturally in sassafras and sweet basil.

Extreme caution should be taken with sodium nitrite which is mainly used as a food colouring agent. Sodium nitrite is added to meats to produce an appealing and fresh red colour to the consumer. Sodium nitrite can produce cancer causing chemicals such as Minestrone’s, and numerous studies have shown a link between nitrite and cancer in humans that consume processed and cured meats.

Blue 1, Blue 2, Red 3, and Yellow 6 are among the food colourings that have been linked to various health risks in animal models. Blue 1 is used to colour candy, soft drinks, and pastries and there has been some evidence that it may cause cancer in mice, but studies have not been replicated. Blue 2 can be found in pet food, soft drinks, and pastries, and has shown to cause brain tumours in mice. Red 3, mainly used in cherries for cocktails has been correlated with thyroid tumours in rats. Yellow 6, used in sausages, gelatin, and candy can lead to the attribution of gland and kidney tumours, again in animal models and contains carcinogens, but in minimal amounts.[unreliable source?]. It should be noted that many animal models are poor substitutes for studying carcinogenic effects in humans because the physiology of rabbits, mice and non-human primates can be very different from humans in the relevant biochemical pathways. There has been no scientific consensus on the carcinogenic properties of these agents in humans and studies are still ongoing.

In the EU it can take 10 years or more to obtain approval for a new food additive. This includes five years of safety testing, followed by two years for evaluation by the European Food Safety Authority and another three years before the additive receives an EU-wide approval for use in every country in the European Union. Apart from testing and analysing food products during the whole production process to ensure safety and compliance with regulatory standards, trading standards officers (in the UK) protect the public from any illegal use or potentially dangerous misuse of food additives by performing random testing of food products.

SCIENCE:

Many food additives absorb radiation in the ultraviolet and / or visible region of the spectrum. This absorbency can be used to determine the concentration of an additive in a sample using external calibration. However, additives may occur together and the absorbency by one could interfere with the absorbency of another. A prior separation stage is necessary and the additives are first separated by high liquid chromatography (HPLC) and then determined on-line using a UV and/or visible detector.

General Texts:

As “ Fully Qualified Assessor “ l have to provide training for Food Hygiene (general principles, codes of hygienic practice in specific industries or food handling establishments, guidelines for the use of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point or “HACCP” system). This has become even more important as food has become a even greater source of poisoning over the past 10 years or more.

History of HACCP:

HACCP is believed to stem from of a production process monitoring used during World War II because traditional “end of the pipe” testing on artillery shell’s firing mechanisms could not be performed, and a large percent of the artillery shells made at the time were either duds or mis-firing. HACCP itself was conceived in the 1960s when the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) asked Pillsbury to design and manufacture the first foods for space flights.

The HACCP seven principles:

Principle 1: Conduct a hazard analysis. – Plans determine the food safety hazards and identify the preventive measures the plan can apply to control these hazards. A food safety hazard is any biological, chemical, or physical property that may cause a food to be unsafe for human consumption.

Principle 2: Identify critical control points. – A critical control point (CCP) is a point, step, or procedure in a food manufacturing process at which control can be applied and, as a result, a food safety hazard can be prevented, eliminated, or reduced to an acceptable level.

Principle 3: Establish critical limits for each critical control point. – A critical limit is the maximum or minimum value to which a physical, biological, or chemical hazard must be controlled at a critical control point to prevent, eliminate, or reduce to an acceptable level.

Principle 4: Establish critical control point monitoring requirements. – Monitoring activities are necessary to ensure that the process is under control at each critical control point. In the United States, the FSIS is requiring that each monitoring procedure and its frequency be listed in the HACCP plan.

Principle 5: Establish corrective actions. – These are actions to be taken when monitoring indicates a deviation from an established critical limit. The final rule requires a plant’s HACCP plan to identify the corrective actions to be taken if a critical limit is not met. Corrective actions are intended to ensure that no product injurious to health or otherwise adulterated as a result of the deviation enters commerce.

Principle 6: Establish procedures for ensuring the HACCP system is working as intended. – Validation ensures that the plants do what they were designed to do; that is, they are successful in ensuring the production of a safe product. Plants will be required to validate their own HACCP plans. FSIS will not approve HACCP plans in advance, but will review them for conformance with the final rule.

Verification ensures the HACCP plan is adequate, that is, working as intended. Verification procedures may include such activities as review of HACCP plans, CCP records, critical limits and microbial sampling and analysis. FSIS is requiring that the HACCP plan include verification tasks to be performed by plant personnel. Verification tasks would also be performed by FSIS inspectors. Both FSIS and industry will undertake microbial testing as one of several verification activities.

Verification also includes ‘validation’ – the process of finding evidence for the accuracy of the HACCP system (e.g. scientific evidence for critical limitations).

Principle 7: Establish record keeping procedures.The HACCP regulation requires that all plants maintain certain documents, including its hazard analysis and written HACCP plan, and records documenting the monitoring of critical control points, critical limits, verification activities, and the handling of processing deviations.

Conclusion:

So in conclusion there is much more to a chefs job than just cooking great food, you need to be a person that has “Health and Safety“ in mind and know that what you are serving your customers ,clients or residents is healthy, tasty, nutritious and wholesome. But does not contain any Additives or E-Numbers that could have side-affects on the people you are providing the food, so you need to know your “Codex Alimentarius” (“Latin for “Book of Food”) or at least know where you can find the information.

Bye for now and more later, CJ

{Resident Chef} Ace News Group

As usual need any help or guidance you can now email our news desk at “Ace Food News” at leave-your-views@yopmail.com or leave a comment and l will reply.